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Stoneways Marine 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Buzz Europeans at Lake Garda, Italy

by Roger and Penny Eyre 13 Sep 2010 21:59 BST
Buzz Europeans at Lake Garda © YC Aquafresca

Although Lake Garda is over 700 miles from Calais the journey is well worth the experience – travelling through France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy with the Austrian Fernpass being the most picturesque and memorable part for most, along with the dramatic view as you drop down to get a first view of the lake from high above Riva del Garda.

Most arrived a day or two early to settle in, rig their boats and get accustomed to awesome ‘Big-Lake’ sailing – blue sky, sunshine, 30-350C air temp with water at around 20 degrees C!

Well, this year’s Championships couldn’t have got off to a better or a happier start with two great news items; Team Stuzo announcing their engagement. Stu’s proposal was certainly one to be admired - a very well executed ‘sail past’ complete with bespoke bunting (spelling out ‘Will you marry me Zoe’) attached between mast and boom-end on their bright yellow Spice. Luckily for Stu she said ‘yes’!! For those that had noticed the strange ‘string’ arrangement on the mast, Stu had made up some wacky story about it being an experiment with a washing line – and we were all taken in! Romance is clearly not dead – and Congratulations to both Stu and Zoe for a long and happy life together! The other being the announcement of a new Monciardini buzzer – Paolo and Deborah are expecting to become three next February! We wish them all the very best with their launch.

Anyway, after a couple of days of fun, frivolity and relaxing in the sun with the celebratory Prosecco still flowing freely, we got down to business and the real racing began with 3 races planned for each of the 4 day series.

Day 1

Race 1 started with around 30 boats from several different Nations on the racecourse – conveniently just off the club shore offering a great viewing position for spectators sunning themselves on the beach! The ISO fleet went off first, closely watched by the Buzz to see which side of the course was paying. In a light F2-3, Team Marjane in 1027 led the 2 lap race with their enviable pointing and sailing fast and deep downwind, right until the final windward mark where Team Stuzo (401) and Team PauloPietro(978) jostling for 2 nd and 3 rd, having made significant gains on the final downwind leg, just got past them. With PauloPietro in the lead, a crucial decision as to whether the spinnaker could be held to the finish line had to be made. Team Stuzo tried to hold it but was disadvantaged and eventually finished in 3 rd place with PauloPietro 1st and Marjane 2nd.

Race 2 was another very close affair, with Teams PauloPietro and Stuzo taking the lead. PauloPietro eventually pulled ahead but after generously capsizing on the last gybe, they allowed Stuzo to secure a comfortable 1st place.

Race 3 and things were beginning to look a bit predictable at the front! Another close race put Team PauloPietro in a good lead until gear failure struck leaving them unable to recover, allowing Marjane to put in an excellent performance and bag their first 1st place. Things were also looking a little predictable in the second half of the fleet but with some very closing racing making each team work hard for a good result in the light conditions.

Day 2

Race 4 began on a new course set further away from the shore towards the middle of the lake. With winds shifting regularly, the day promised to reward those who paid most attention (or got lucky!). Team Marjane chose to separate from the field and took the left hand side. With the rest of the fleet on the right side, they rounded the windward mark in a position that was too difficult to recover from, allowing Team RogPen, Team Alessandro and Team Marco to pull ahead. After a great downwind leg they began to pull back a few places, only to capsize on the upwind leg, allowing RogPen to secure a good 3rd place after PauloPietro and Stuzo.

Race 5 and PauloPietro were really getting into their stride and took another great 1st place – with great upwind speed and an apparent 6th sense of what the wind was going to do next – they even started beating ISOs to the windward mark who had started 5 mins ahead! Team Marco put in their best performance yet and after having a few gear problems on day 1, bagged themselves an excellent 4th place.

Race 6 and the wind was beginning to get a little stronger and the downwind legs were getting much more interesting. After a very exciting downwind head to head race to the final mark, Team Stuzo (obviously enjoying the faster downwind legs) blasted their way to the top spot for a hard fought win over PauloPietro. Team RogPen meanwhile were having their own close racing with Alessandro and Marco, just managing to hold them off at the finish for a hard fought 4th place.

Day 3

Race 7 and things were starting to hot up a bit. Not the temperature (which was already hot enough – even if the sky was a little overcast) but the wind and the racing. Almost a full wetsuit day - the winds had increased significantly and a fleet of RS100s had joined us on the racecourse just to add to the challenge. Avoiding capsized boats and avoiding capsizing full stop was today’s key to success! After some excellent pro-am advice on day 2, Team Alessandro were improving with each race and were now keen to try their string wind tactics. They put in an excellent race with a very close downwind leg with Team RogPen and finished their closest yet to the front boats.

Race 8 proved to be the most interesting with all boats having a problem at some stage. The whole fleet was very close and Team Alessandro were in close contention approaching the leeward mark. Sadly for them, a bad capsize on the final gybe injured Ricardo and they had to retire. At the same time Marjane and PaoloPietro capsized leaving Stuzo in the lead, closely followed by RogPen. Stu then accidentally let go of the tiller and dropped Zoe unceremoniously into the water! Leaving RogPen to to round the leeward mark out in front but this was to be short lived after PauloPietro made an awesome come back by sniffing another windshift on the left hand side of the course, putting them so far in front at the windward mark that even another capsize on the downwind leg didn’t prevent them from bagging yet another 1st place with RogPen in a close 2nd and Stuzo in 3rd.

Day 4

Day 4 was the last day of racing and dawned eerily quietly. Despite the local sailors predicting a day of no racing we all went out on the water hoping that the wind would eventually kick in. Sadly it didn’t and after a few hours of generally messing around and having a laugh we were hurriedly taken off the water only to realise that a nasty storm was rapidly heading our way. This meant that the results from Day 3 stood as the final results, and we proudly crowned PauloPietro as our new European Champions!

So, at the end of a great 4 days of Buzz racing, we owe many, many thanks to Marco and Paolo for organising both the racing, evening meals, breakfasts and general socialising and of course the fantastic camping Monja for us.

All days... lots of fun, good food, and friendship!

Overall Results:

1st Pietro Bassani and Paolo Monciardini (UVM)
2nd Stuart Bailey and Zoe Noble (Medway YC)
3rd Jane Noble and Mark Wilson (Langstone SC)

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